Making Marie Curie: Intellectual Property and Celebrity Culture in an Age of Information

University of Chicago Press
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In many ways, Marie Curie represents modern science. Her considerable lifetime achievements—the first woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize, the only woman to be awarded the Prize in two fields, and the only person to be awarded Nobel Prizes in multiple sciences—are studied by schoolchildren across the world. When, in 2009, the New Scientist carried out a poll for the “Most Inspirational Female Scientist of All Time,” the result was a foregone conclusion: Marie Curie trounced her closest runner-up, Rosalind Franklin, winning double the number of Franklin’s votes. She is a role model to women embarking on a career in science, the pride of two nations—Poland and France—and, not least of all, a European Union brand for excellence in science.

Making Marie Curie explores what went into the creation of this icon of science. It is not a traditional biography, or one that attempts to uncover the “real” Marie Curie. Rather, Eva Hemmungs Wirtén, by tracing a career that spans two centuries and a world war, provides an innovative and historically grounded account of how modern science emerges in tandem with celebrity culture under the influence of intellectual property in a dawning age of information. She explores the emergence of the Curie persona, the information culture of the period that shaped its development, and the strategies Curie used to manage and exploit her intellectual property. How did one create and maintain for oneself the persona of scientist at the beginning of the twentieth century? What special conditions bore upon scientific women, and on married women in particular? How was French identity claimed, established, and subverted? How, and with what consequences, was a scientific reputation secured?

In its exploration of these questions and many more, Making Marie Curie provides a composite picture not only of the making of Marie Curie, but the making of modern science itself.
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About the author

Eva Hemmungs Wirtén is professor of mediated culture at Linköping University, Sweden. She is the author of Terms of Use: Negotiating the Jungle of the Intellectual Commons and No Trespassing: Authorship, Intellectual Property Rights, and the Boundaries of Globalization.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Mar 17, 2015
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Pages
248
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ISBN
9780226235981
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Science & Technology
Science / Chemistry / General
Science / General
Science / History
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Eva Hemmungs Wirtén
In this scholarly yet highly accessible work, Eva Hemmungs Wirtén traces three main themes within the scope of cultural ownership: authorship as one of the basic features of print culture, the use of intellectual property rights as a privileged instrument of control, and finally globalization as a pre-condition under which both operate. Underwritten by rapid technological change and increased global interdependence, intellectual property rights are designed to protect a production that is no longer industrial, but informational.

No Trespassing tells the story of a century of profound change in cultural ownership. It begins with late nineteenth-century Europe, exploring cultural ownership in a number of settings across both spatial and temporal divides, and concludes in today's global, knowledge-based society. Wirtén takes an interdisciplinary and international approach, using a wide array of material from court cases to novels for her purposes. From Victor Hugo and the 1886 Berne Convention, to the translation of Peter Høeg’s bestseller Smilla's Sense of Snow, Wirtén charts a history of Intellectual property rights and regulations. She addresses the relationship between author and translator, looks at the challenges to intellectual property by the arrival of the photocopier, takes into account the media conglomerate's search for content as a key asset since the 1960s, and considers how a Western legal framework interacts with attempts to protect traditional knowledge and folklore. No Trespassing is essential reading for all who care about culture and the future regulatory structures of access to it.

Eva Hemmungs Wirtén
In this scholarly yet highly accessible work, Eva Hemmungs Wirtén traces three main themes within the scope of cultural ownership: authorship as one of the basic features of print culture, the use of intellectual property rights as a privileged instrument of control, and finally globalization as a pre-condition under which both operate. Underwritten by rapid technological change and increased global interdependence, intellectual property rights are designed to protect a production that is no longer industrial, but informational.

No Trespassing tells the story of a century of profound change in cultural ownership. It begins with late nineteenth-century Europe, exploring cultural ownership in a number of settings across both spatial and temporal divides, and concludes in today's global, knowledge-based society. Wirtén takes an interdisciplinary and international approach, using a wide array of material from court cases to novels for her purposes. From Victor Hugo and the 1886 Berne Convention, to the translation of Peter Høeg’s bestseller Smilla's Sense of Snow, Wirtén charts a history of Intellectual property rights and regulations. She addresses the relationship between author and translator, looks at the challenges to intellectual property by the arrival of the photocopier, takes into account the media conglomerate's search for content as a key asset since the 1960s, and considers how a Western legal framework interacts with attempts to protect traditional knowledge and folklore. No Trespassing is essential reading for all who care about culture and the future regulatory structures of access to it.

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